Sepp Blatter Proves 2022 World Cup Should Never Have Gone to Qatar

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Sepp Blatter Proves 2022 World Cup Should Never Have Gone to Qatar
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

In December 2010, when FIFA was voting to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, I had the feeling the 2022 tournament would be held in the United States.

After all, the 1994 World Cup is still holds the record for highest attendance for a World Cup, and the tournament has grown from 24 to 32 teams since then.

Sporting Kansas City held a watch party for the announcement at a restaurant on the Country Club Plaza. Several of the bigwigs for the local stadium bid, including then-Mayor Mark Funkhouser, were in attendance.

The screams after the announcement were unexpectedly shrill, with more than a few expletives flying about the room. I remember if only because at least one of them came from me.

The rumblings of the World Cup having been bought by oil money have mostly subsided now, but Joseph "Sepp" Blatter is coming to realize that he made the bed and now he is going to have to lay in it.

The main reason most of us were surprised Qatar had been chosen was obvious. The average temperature in Doha, Qatar in June/July, according to the World Meteorological Organization, is 41C (106F). It also has an average annual rainfall of 75.2mm. That works out to just under three inches. I understand it's the desert, but that's not an easy sell for tourists, even rabid soccer fans.

Fast forward to Wednesday, when Blatter said there was still time to move the 2022 World Cup to be played in the winter.

According to the BBC, Blatter said, "You can cool down the stadiums, but you can't cool down the whole country and you can't simply cool down the ambiance of a World Cup."

In a country like Qatar, heatstroke would be a huge problem for spectators simply walking around outside the venues, which would have to be air-conditioned. According to the BBC, "Heatstroke - which can occur at any temperature over 40C - requires professional medical help and, if not treated immediately, chances of survival can be slim."

Now, remember, 41C is just the average high in Doha in June and July. The temperature can reach up to 50C (122F). In that kind of heat, people would be dropping like flies.

As you would expect, the EPL has already said they're opposed to moving the tournament to the winter. As reported by Fox News, a Premier League spokesperson said, "The Premier League position remains unchanged. The prospect of a winter World Cup is neither workable nor desirable for European domestic football."

The Premier League has been opposed to moving the tournament to the winter for some time. They say the move would disrupt scheduling for the 2021-22 season, as well as the seasons before and after.

They're not the only ones. According to the Daily Telegraph, the Bundesliga warned in May that European domestic leagues could try to force another vote on the 2022 tournament.

A re-run of the 2022 vote would be fine by me. I'm not saying it just because the United States might win this time, but maybe it would be a little more transparent and a little more fair the second time around.

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